London Cycling Campaign launches Climate Safe Streets report, offers advice service during Covid-19

The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) has launched its Climate Safe Streets report, a roadmap to de-carbonise the capital’s roads in the next 10 years.

According to the LCC, the roadmap shows how London can create a new, zero carbon, healthier and more efficient system for road travel that would render it unnecessary for the majority of Londoners to own a car after 2030.

The report details the decisions the next Mayor of London must take in order to achieve this, as well as the opportunity for the city’s boroughs to fulfil on their promises to address the ongoing climate emergency.

“Right now we face a global health crisis that risks derailing action to rapidly de-carbonise our transport systems, which is an absolute necessity if we’re to avoid an even more terrifying future and even larger global crisis,” the report stated. “However, the same current pandemic also represents an opportunity to re-imagine how London works, shift away from our most unsustainable habits and reshape the capital to be healthier and more sustainable going forward.”

The Climate Safe Streets report sets out eight priority areas where the Mayor and borough councils can work together to change the way Londoners move around the capital. According to the LCC, a near 60% reduction in car mileage is needed to meet international climate targets, even if all cars were low emission, by 2035, however we would still be left with pollution problems, inactivity, congestion and road danger, prompting more to be done to encourage people out of their cars.

The report sets out priorities for change, including rapidly delivering a high-quality cycling network, introducing Smart Road User Charging and supporting the growth of zero-carbon shared mobility options, such as dockless e-Scooters (if made legal), bikes, e-Bikes and electric car clubs.

The report concluded: “Our Climate Safe Streets report sets out how London can rise to meet this challenge, leading the world out of crisis and forward in creating Zero Carbon Roads. The Mayor and London Borough Councils will need to decide if they deliver it, or carry on delaying until it’s too late.”

LCC has also today introduced a Facebook Messenger, phone and email advice service for people needing to make essential journeys during the ongoing pandemic, and are considering cycling as a means to get around.

Places such as New York and Bogotá have witnessed a surge of people cycling, as have other global cities, and researchers have called on the Government to protect the rights of people to continue cycling safely if they aren’t showing symptoms of Covid-19.

A new chatbot on Facebook Messenger will provide advice for people wanting to cycle for essential journeys for the first time, as well as those returning to cycling, and those who already cycle. The LCC will also have staff and volunteers on hand to advise people through live chat, phone and email, covering basic cycle skills, locking and parking bikes, safe route planning, where to buy bikes and gear, and cycling safely in traffic.

The service is free, and comes as the LCC predicts an increase in the number of people choosing to cycle over the coming weeks.

Dr Ashok Sinha, Chief Executive of the LCC, said: “As the coronavirus outbreak in London is unfolding so quickly it’s important to stay up to date with the latest advice, but it is likely that cycling will play its part in helping London’s journey through this crisis.

“People, including key workers, who have to make essential journeys throughout this time, may be looking to avoid public transport and cycle instead for essential journeys. We want to do everything possible to make sure those who need to move around are able to do so in the safest possible way.”

Hayley Everett

Multimedia Reporter

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